Cold-hardy Sugarcanes for Western North Carolina - NC State University
Sugarcanes have long been recognized as one of the most efficient crops in converting solar energy into harvestable biomass and are of primary interest as bioenergy crops. These grasses are also characterized as requiring low inputs, having few pest problems, and can produce high yields on marginal land. Unfortunately, most conventional sugarcanes lack adequate cold hardness to be grown as perennial energy crops in Western North Carolina. However, wild relatives of cultivated sugarcane can be bred to enhance yield, cold-hardiness, and adaptability to Western North Carolina. Development of advanced bioenergy crops, specifically designed for our region, will enhance profitability and competitiveness of the entire bioenergy supply chain in North Carolina. The goal of this project is to develop and evaluate improved, high-yielding, cold hardy, non-invasive, sugarcanes as advanced bioenergy crops for Western North Carolina.